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Brandi Mankoski - Harry Potter made family closer

By Camille Doty
July 13, 2011 at 2:13 a.m.

Brandi Mankoski's "Harry Potter" books are worn from reading them so often to her sons, Jerry Hartl, 5, and Landen Hartl, 3. Mankoski said the series has brought her family closer together.

Brandi Mankoski believes Harry Potter brought her family closer together.

"We have movie night. cuddle and eat popcorn," she said.

Mankoski and her sons, Jerry Hartl and Landen Hartl, have seen the movies many times. Jerry can tell everyone what's about to happen next.

Their fascination with the huge Hogwarts school began in a tiny hospital room.

Jerry would watch the movies at DeTar Hospital because he was sick many times as a younger child. He and his mother were instantly hooked.

"I've never seen a child so young sit through the whole movie," said the proud mother.

At first, they watched the movies and then the books.

And when Landen was born, big brother and mom re-read the books to get him caught up.

Mankoski, of Telferner, said "Harry Potter" is an adventure all ages can enjoy. One wish, she does have is children's books for her 5 and 3 year old.

She wants them to see the magic in picture books. In the meantime, they have fun in their own magical worlds as toddlers.

The grown-up Potter fan's favorite book and movie is "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." She said the characters begin to show their inner-strength.

Mankoski relates to Hermione Granger the most because of her determination.

"If I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it," she said.

At times, she's gotten into character making a witch's belt from rope and a wand with a dowel rod.

Mankoski said she is a wicken who practices witchcraft, but she's never tried a "Potter" spell.

She's saddened the series is coming to an end.

The mother of two wouldn't be disappointed if the last movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" fast- forwarded to the future.

"I would like to see them married with kids," said Mankoski.

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